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Van Halen

Van Halen bio, timeline, discography, pics & more

Van Halen 2007

Van Halen photo 2007
[LtoR] Wolfgang Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Alex Van Halen & Eddie Van Halen

Van Halen Biography

Van Halen is wordwide recognized as one of the most innovative and successful Hard-Rock act emerged from the '70s. Brothers Alex and Edward Van Halen moved to the United States from the Netherlands in 1967 and raised in Pasadena, California. The two started a band in 1974 with singer David Lee Roth and bassist Michael Anthony, the foursome began gigging under the name Mammoth, with Eddie on guitar and Alex behind the drum kit; two years later they signed a contract with Warner Bros and re-christened the band Van Halen.

With their eponymous debut, released in February 1978, made an impressive impact on the Rock scene, the disc entered the top 20 on The U.S. Pop Albums chart and the top 40 in the U.K. chart; the record contained three singles: "Runnin' With The Devil", "Beautiful Girls" and the U.S. top 40 hit "You Really Got Me". Over the next few years, their first LP went on to sell over ten million copies.

A year later the group released "Van Halen II" which climbed the U.S. Top 200 LPs & Tapes list reaching the #6 position and the lead single, "Dance The Night Away", cracked the top 20 of The Pop Singles chart; also in the U.K. their sophomore effort became a hit, peaking at #23.

The group's third album, "Women And Children First", came out in March of 1980 hitting #6 in U.S. and #15 in U.K. but the single "And The Cradle Will Rock..." didn't rise higher than #50 on the U.S. Pop chart.

The following year Edward Van Halen married actress Valerie Bertinelli. The band's next offering, "Fair Warning" was another hit, peaking at #5 on the U.S. Pop Albums list and generated three Mainstream Rock top 20 hit singles: "Mean Street", "So This Is Love?" and "Unchained".

"Diver Down", which arrived in April of 1982, included the remake of Roy Orbison's "(Oh) Pretty Woman", the track crested at #12 on the U.S. Pop Singles chart and at #1 on The Mainstream Rock chart, the second single, "Dancing In The Street", reached the top 3 of The Mainstream Rock chart sending the album to #3 on the Top 200 LPs & Tapes chart; the record yielded one more Mainstream Rock top 20 hit with "Where Have All The Good Times Gone!".

In early 1984, Van Halen released its sixth album, the first single, "Jump", enjoyed a five-week peak at #1 on The Billboard Hot 100 and was followed by two top 20 hits: "I'll Wait" and "Panama". "1984" rocketed to #2 on The Billboard 200 and to #15 on the Official U.K. Pop Albums chart, selling nearly 5 million copies in U.S. alone; this album was certified 10 times platinum in 1999.

Before the year's end Roth released his first solo album, beginning his solo career, in fact when Roth delayed the recording of the band's new album, he was immediately fired.

Van Halen returned to action in 1986 with Sammy Hagar as the new singer, issuing "5150" in March, the record went straight to #1 on The Billboard Top 200 Albums chart and reached the #16 spot in Britain; "Why Can't This Be Love" hit #3 on The Billboard Hot 100 and soared to the top of the Active Rock Singles chart. It was followed by two more Mainstream Rock top 10 hits: "Love Walks In" and "Dreams"; the final single, "Best Of Both Worlds", peaked at #12 on the same chart.

1988's "OU812" was another multi-platinum seller for the band, the album shot to #1 on The Billboard 200 and hit the top 20 of the Official U.K. Pop chart; it generated no less than four American Mainstream Rock smash singles including two #1s, "When It's Love" and "Black And Blue", plus the #2 "Finish What Ya Started" and the #6 "Feels So Good".

The quartet delivered their follow-up, "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge", in spring 1991, it became the third consecutive American Billboard 200 chart topper spawning three Active Rock #1 hits: "Poundcake", "Runaround" and "Top Of The World", the #2 "Right Now" and the top 10 "The Dream Is Over". The album also earned them their first Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance.

In February 1993 the group released the double-CD compilation "Live: Right Here, Right Now", which contained the cover of The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again"; this was yet another #1 Mainstream Rock smash.

Two years later, Van Halen, returned with the new studio-album, "Balance" bringing them back to the top of The Billboard 200; it featured the #1 Mainstream Rock hit single "Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)" plus two top 3 hits: "Can't Stop Lovin' You" and "Amsterdam".

In October 1996 was issued the retrospective collection, "Van Halen Best Of Volume 1", which took the first spots on the North American charts on the back of the Active Rock #1 hit "Humans Being", a single recorded for the "Twister" soundtrack. The set included two previously unreleased songs recorded with David Lee Roth, "Me Wise Magic" soared to #1 on The Mainstream Rock chart and "Can't Get This Stuff No More" landed in the top 20.

After the release of this compilation Hagar quit the band and was announced that Van Halen-Roth reunion was temporary.
Ex-Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone joined the group as the new lead singer and the new line-up released "Van Halen III" in 1998, this effort missed the #1 in the U.S. Albums chart settling at #4, but the single "Without You" peaked at #1 on the Active Rock list and "Fire In The Hole" peaked at #6 on the same chart.

In July 2004 Van Halen released another collection of their best songs. The double-CD set titled "The Best Of Both Worlds", featured three new tracks recorded with Sammy Hagar, "It's About Time" peaked at #6 on The Mainstream Rock Tracks and helped propel the album to #3 on the U.S. Top 200 chart.

In the fall of 2006 was officially announced that Eddie's son, Wolfgang Van Halen, replaced longtime basist Michael Anthony who joined Hagar, Joe Satriani and Chad Smith in Chickenfoot.

Van Halen's much anticipated "A Different Kind Of Truth", the first album fronted by David Lee Roth in three decades, was released in February 2012; it debuted at #2 on The Billboard 200 and at #3 on the Top Canadian Albums chart. The first single, "Tattoo", peaked at #16 on The Rock Songs list and its follow-up, "She's The Woman", reached #31 on the same chart.


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Van Halen pictures:

  • Van Halen band mid 80s Van Halen band mid 80s
    "1984" era
  • Van Halen band 2004 Van Halen band 2004
    2004 photoshoot, LtoR: Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony, Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen